Dronamics goes Post in the Emirates
Hailed as “the beginning of a dynamic collaboration set to redefine cargo drone delivery in the UAE”, the Letter of Intent signed by Emirates Post Group (EPG) and Dronamics earlier this week, on 13OCT23, certainly makes a lot of sense in the drone-friendly region. The backdrop to the signing was, after all, the official launch of the Smart and Autonomous Vehicles Industry (SAVI) Cluster at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. SAVI, endorsed by H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, aims to support and position the Emirate as a leading, innovative hub in smart and autonomous vehicles hub across all modes - air, land and sea. Set to generate between 30,000-50,000 jobs, SAVI is forecast to add 120AED billion/USD33 billion to the economy.
No surprise, therefore, that the unique Black Swan may play a part in the equation. Emirates Post Group and Dronamics will be exploring and testing Dronamics' cargo drone service capabilities for same-day middle-mile and long-range deliveries. “Both organizations will collaborate towards developing a comprehensive cargo drone delivery network in the UAE and GCC,” the release states. Upon successful completion of Proof-of-Concept (POC) flights in the UAE, EPG plans to integrate at least one drone aircraft by 2024, and expand this service in its logistics network.
Abdulla Mohammed Alashram, Group CEO of Emirates Post Group, said: “With a shared vision of reshaping the future of the logistics sector, EPG and Dronamics are dedicated to enhancing cargo delivery speed, sustainability, and efficiency by deploying state-of-the-art drone technology. This partnership represents a significant milestone in the advancement of autonomous cargo drone transportation.”
Svilen Rangelov, CEO and Co-Founder of Dronamics, commented: “Partnering with Emirates Post Group provides us with the exciting opportunity to work on our expansion to the Middle East and the United Arab Emirates in particular. Through this agreement we will look to implement our unique middle-mile cargo drone technology on the UAE market in service of EPG, its customers and its universal service mandate - an important step to achieving our vision of enabling same-day delivery for everyone everywhere.”
WFS is Etihad Cargo’s chosen U.S. cargo handling agent
Etihad Cargo has placed the responsibility for cargo handling on the ground at its U.S. destinations in the hands of Worldwide Flight Services (WFS). Thus, since 03OCT23, its customers benefit from WFS’ cargo handling facilities at Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). The service provider was chosen for its special cargo facilities and expertise, which enable the carrier to enhance its IATA CEIV-certified pharmaceuticals and perishables products, and provide end-to-end cool chain capabilities in the region.
Thomas Schürmann, Head of Cargo Operations & Delivery at Etihad Cargo, said: “Etihad Cargo is committed to providing consistent, high-quality, end-to-end air cargo solutions. Therefore, it is imperative that the carrier collaborates with cargo handling partners that can meet these expectations and deliver exceptional services in full compliance with Etihad Cargo's standards and industry requirements. Expanding Etihad Cargo's network with WFS to encompass all three of the carrier's US stations will enable the carrier to ensure Etihad Cargo's robust quality standards are maintained throughout the cargo's entire journey.”
Frank Clemente, Senior Vice President Cargo and Express, North America at WFS, stated: “WFS’ investment in new facilities at ORD and JFK, growth in our cargo business in North America, and unwavering focus on service quality are the cornerstones of our partnership with Etihad Cargo. In line with SATS Group’s vision for the future of cargo handling, we are introducing digital solutions for efficient dock management and landside operations, investing in auto-dimensioning equipment to improve accuracy, implementing IATA DG Autocheck for safer handling of dangerous goods, and providing real-time warehouse progress monitoring for customers. We are also introducing an automated pallet storage system called Raft to optimize storage and retrieval efficiency.”
Mohammed Esa, Executive Vice President Group Commercial at WFS, declared: “We are delighted to be expanding our partnership with Etihad Cargo through the award of these three stations in North America. Our global network as part of the SATS Group gives us a great opportunity to serve our strategic customers consistently and support their growth in key cargo markets.”
Saudia Cargo is now IATA CEIV Pharma certified
When it comes to transporting and handling pharmaceuticals, only the highest quality standards will do. After a year of intense preparation and audits, Saudia Cargo has proven that it is worthy of IATA’s CEIV Pharma accreditation, and was handed its certificate on 11OCT23. The accreditation verifies that its pharmaceutical facilities, equipment, operations, and employees are all fully compliant with industry requirements and recommendations. In addition to proving its expertise, Saudia Cargo says that it is “further strengthening its pharmaceutical transport services by collaborating with significant players in the pharmaceutical industry, which include Pharma Aero, Envirotainer, DoKaSch, CSafe, va-Q-tec, SkyCell, and Tower Cold Chain,” taking its role as a healthcare logistics provider, particularly with respect to a growing Middle East pharmaceutical market, very seriously.
Teddy Zebitz, CEO of Saudia Cargo, stated: “We are proud to have obtained the CEIV Pharma accreditation. Since we've seen a significant increase in pharmaceutical shipments over the past four years, we've made the firm commitment to facilitate the leasing of the best temperature-controlled packaging options and unrivaled knowledge to guarantee secure and dependable pharmaceutical transportation in the rapidly expanding Middle East market. We're focused on upholding the greatest levels of excellence, security, and safety in pharmaceutical logistics, highlighting our unique position in defending humanity with our offerings.”
Aymen Osilan, Executive Director at Saudia Cargo, explained: “Receiving the certification is a testament to our dedication to excellence and commitment to providing top-notch services to our valued customers. Which demonstrates our ability to handle pharma shipments with utmost care, ensuring the integrity and quality of products”. Saudia Cargo was vital in aiding in the distribution of vaccinations and other necessities during and post-pandemic, working to uphold the highest standards of quality while doing so both domestically and internationally. Around a year ago, we started the certification process with IATA for CEIV Pharma, and now, after a year of laborious efforts, strengthening Saudia Cargo’s position as a trusted provider for spearheading air cargo solutions in the industry. Receiving the IATA CEIV Pharma accreditation is a testament to our team’s dedication to excellence and work ethics commitment to offering our clients and business partners the best possible services in pharmaceutical logistics.”
At cargo-partner, every day is a party – or so it seems
cargo-partner has had a lot to celebrate recently – particularly with regard to “round” anniversaries, beginning with its very beginnings – in Austria, 40 years ago. The image depicted shows the 40th anniversary cake alongside a 20th anniversary one, which celebrated two decades of cargo-partner in Bulgaria. cargo-partner Bulgaria hosted a special celebration at its iLogistics Center Sofia on 05OCT23, to thank its loyal customers for their support since the branch was first founded in OCT03, initially with a focus on air transport, and then expanding to include specialized services: live animals, charter, emergency and on-board courier solutions. Five years ago saw the opening of cargo-partner’s own state-of-the-art iLogistics Center in Sofia with a capacity of 22,000 pallet slots. cargo-partner is currently the number one air freight provider in Bulgaria.
But other cargo-partner locations also have cause for celebration this year: The Czech and the Slovakian branches both turned 30, this year. Slovakia celebrated with customers in Bratislava in June, growing from two employees in 1993 to more than 200 employees, four offices and two modern warehouses in Bratislava and Dunajska Streda, today, and an AAA Platinum Excellence credit rating from Dun & Bradstreet for being one of the country’s most trustworthy companies for five consecutive years. Likewise, the Czech Republic team also celebrated with a customer event, and it, too, holds AAA Gold Excellence certificate. Bosnia and Herzegovina celebrated 15 years and is still growing, whilst over in Türkiye, it has been five years since the first Turkish branch opened – one of meanwhile 11 locations in the country, not to mention a new 20,000 m² warehouse in Istanbul since JUL23.
Stefan Krauter, Founder and CEO of cargo-partner, explained: “After establishing our headquarters at the Vienna airport in 1983, we were among the first Austrian companies to acknowledge the market potential of Eastern Europe, following the fall of the Iron Curtain. Thus began our expansion to other airports in the region, including Bulgaria. Two decades ago, we recognized Bulgaria's strategic importance, with the Sofia airport playing a key role for our pan-European distribution. As we face today's challenges of digitalization and globalization, we remain committed to fostering growth, innovation, and collaboration in the vibrant logistics landscape of Eastern Europe.”
AFKLMP Cargo launches PLUS service level
Certain shipments require extra attention and care. Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has now put a name to that requirement and launched it as a service: PLUS Service Level. PLUS ensures two key features: high priority when booking shipments, and preferential treatment during loading and unloading. The service can be booked quickly and simply via the airline group’s myCargo customer portal or by contacting its dedicated customer service team, and is also available for bookings on CMA CGM AIR CARGO to destinations included in the joint venture network. It is for non-Express shipments requiring that little bit extra when it comes to priority.
Mathieu Fleisch, VP Products & Verticals at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, explains that the reason for the launch as AFKLMP Cargo’s commitment to constantly improving its air freight portfolio, to provide the best in service solutions: “The PLUS service level perfectly completes our product portfolio, offering an intermediate option between our General Cargo and Express products. This extra option has long been on our customers’ wish list.”
GertJan Roelands, SVP Commercial at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, commented: “The introduction of our new PLUS service level is a new step in our commercial transformation, which is intended to deliver a best-in-class customer experience. Last month, we achieved a record 78% online bookings. This new service offers an extra alternative and enhances our online customer journey, making it even easier for customers to do business with us.”
Qatar Airways Cargo unveils Mail solution relaunch
… just in time for World Post Day on 09OCT23. As part of its Next Generation strategy which looks at every aspect of the airline’s business, Mail, too, has been intensively worked on, with new standards and key enhancements having now been integrated. The release states: “As part of the relaunch, the product offers a comprehensive suite of customizable services designed for both traditional and hybrid postal modes – Express Mail, Priority Mail, Standard Mail and Empty Mail Receptacles. The Mail product meets the stringent regulatory standards set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU),” and points to 100% EDI (electronic data interchange) being carried out at more than 110 stations which are equipped with handheld android scanners (to seamlessly share Response to Documents International Transport advice - RESDITs), as one of these enhancements. Others are the possibility to serve more than one customer per origin, regardless of the IMPC code used, and the installation of specialized support teams to handle mail allocations, pricing policies, sales, and account management, and ensure the privacy, efficiency, safety, and security of all mail shipments, thanks to real-time tracking throughout the journey. In Doha, a 4,900 m² dedicated airmail facility can handle up to 500 tons/15,000 mailbags per day. It is equipped with inhouse screening facility, advanced X-ray scanners, Explosive Detection Dog (EDD) and Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) capabilities.
Miguel Rodriguez Moreno, Head of Cargo Products at Qatar Airways, underlined: “Our unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence in air freight services is at the heart of this new Mail product. With our extensive global network spanning over 160 destinations including more than 70 freighter destinations, our aim is to provide a comprehensive solution. We are also fully prepared to facilitate paper-free initiatives for Postal Authorities when electronic CN/CP documents are available. Combined with hassle-free billing and reconciliation through IATA PASS and PARIS, as well as swift ramp transfers in Doha, we are confident that our Mail product will deliver exceptional value to our customers.”
Silk Way West Airlines flies to IST with brand-new B777F
Just a week after having taken delivery from Seattle, Silk Way West Airlines operated the first commercial flight of its first Boeing 777F. On 09OCT23, the new, sustainable aircraft embarked on an old, established route. Instead of a Boeing 747-400F, it was the more environmentally friendly B777F that set off from Baku for Istanbul, with a load of general cargo. The first aircraft of seven that are due to take the airline into a cleaner future.
Vugar Mammadov, Vice-President of Silk Way West Airlines, commented: “We are immensely proud to witness this momentous occasion as our new aircraft, the Boeing 777F, stretches its wings for the first time. This marks the beginning of an exciting chapter for our airline, as we continue to uphold the highest standards of safety and reliability while embracing the evolving landscape of cargo transportation. I am confident that our fleet renewal and expansion will further strengthen the company's leading position in the global air freight market for the next 15-20 years.”
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